DB Schenker using Mercedes-Benz eActros electric heavy-duty truck for city-center deliveries in Leipzig

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As the first customer of the second test phase in Germany, DB Schenker has received a battery-electric eActros from the “innovation fleet”. The global logistics services company will use the 25-ton truck for the delivery of general cargo—i.e., palletized goods that are too large and heavy for parcel delivery—in the city center of Leipzig.

The eActros has a range of approximately 200 kilometers and will cover about 100 km daily. The batteries of the electric truck will be charged at night at a charging station on the premises of DB Schenker in the north of the city.

For more than a year now, DB Schenker has also been operating five FUSO eCanter light-duty trucks from Daimler Trucks in Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Paris.

The eActros has been proving its worth since 2018 in multi-faceted practical use with customers as a locally CO2-neutral alternative for urban distribution transport. The test customers in the second phase are also using the eActros for tasks that would otherwise be performed by conventional trucks. The body variants range from refrigerated and dry boxes to tarpaulins. We are delighted that DB Schenker, as a pioneer for alternative drive systems in transport logistics, is now also electrifying the city center of Leipzig with the eActros.

—Rico Claassen, Fleet Customer Manager at Mercedes-Benz Trucks

One of the many findings gained during the practical tests in the first test phase of the eActros is that the range of approximately 200 kilometers has proven to be absolutely realistic, regardless of load, route or topography. The eActros is in no way inferior to a conventional truck in terms of availability and performance in urban traffic, on highways or on overland routes.

The cooling system for the cargo and the air-conditioning system—both electrically operated—functioned without any limitations in both extreme heat and winter conditions. Drivers are very pleased with the continuous availability of torque across the entire speed range. They also particularly mentioned the truck’s quietness in operation and the pleasant, smooth driving experience. Furthermore, if the truck is driven with foresight, electrical energy can be recovered through recuperation, i.e., motor braking. It is then rarely necessary to use the brake pedal.

The eActros is based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. In addition, however, the vehicle’s architecture is completely geared to electric drive and has a high proportion of specific parts. Two electric motors close to the rear-axle wheel hubs provide drive with an output of 126 kW each and a maximum torque of 485 N·m each. This results in 11,000 N·m each after the transmission ratio, providing a performance equivalent to that of a conventional truck. Lithium-ion batteries with 240 kWh supply the energy for the eActros. Depending on the available charging power, the batteries can be fully charged within two hours (at 150 kW).

The development and testing of heavy-duty electric trucks in distribution transport is receiving support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), as part of the Concept ELV² project.

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